Wednesday November 30, 12:00 pm: information about dual degree and the semester abroad programs at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

Dear students,

if you are interested in one of the most exciting opportunities provided by our Law Departement, i.e. the dual degree and the semester abroad programs at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, you are invited to attend the Info-Session in room 278 on November 30 at 12:00 pm!



29-30 November and 1st December 2016: Stefania Gialdroni on Law and Architecture


“Rome was not the world of religion, of abstract sciences, of literature, of fine arts, because in all those fields other people could defeat it; Rome was the world of law. For law, Romans had a historical vocation, deriving from their intellectual genius, from their moral virtue, from their character, from the force and the persistency of will”. These words, pronounced by the Italian Minister of Justice Giuseppe Zanardelli during the foundation laying ceremony of the Palace of Justice (now seat of the Supreme Court of Cassation) in 1889, summarize his ideological program: to make the law one of the cornerstones of unified Italy (1861) with Rome, and especially its glorious and lay legal tradition, as its geographical as well as ideological center. During his long service as Minister of Justice, Zanardelli demonstrated his faith in law as a tool for unifying territories and people realizing two great works: the first Italian Criminal Code and the Palace of Justice

Lesson 1: The politicization of the landscape of Roma Capitale

Lesson 2: The iconography of the Italian Supreme Court

Lesson 3 (Thursday): Visit to the Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione): meeting at Piazza dei Tribunali, 10:00 am

Dear students,

the visit to the Supreme Court on Thursday December 1st is considered as a lesson.  It includes the access to the Aula Massima and constitutes therefore a unique opportunity to explore one of the most important symbols of justice in Italy. You are therefore kindly invitated to participate!


Terry Rossi Kirk, The Politicization of the Landscape of Roma Capitale and the Symbolic Role of the Palazzo di Giustizia, in “Mélanges de l’Ecole française de Rome: Italie et Méditerranée”, 109.1 (2006), pp. 89-114.

22-23-24 November 2016: Stefan Huygebaert on “The Art of Law: Three Centuries of Justice Depicted”



In the fall of 2016, the Law and Iconography classes in the Roma Tre Law and the Humanities course will be entirely devoted to The Art of Law: Three Centuries of Justice Depicted (De Kunst van het Recht: Drie eeuwen Gerechtigheid in Beeld), an art exhibition which opened at the Groeningemuseum in Bruges, Belgium on 28 October, 2016 and will run until 5 February 2017.

We will take a virtual tour through the exhibition, following its structure from the Last Judgement as a key image in late-medieval court rooms, past other so called exempla iustitiae, inspiring images for judges, and a focus on the gruesome story of the Judgement of Cambyses, a depiction of which is one of the Groeningemuseum’s most famous art works. Following the rooms about the execution of justice in the late-medieval and early-modern cities, with abuses of law and long forgotten kinds of punishment, the class will focus on the omnipresent yet intriguing image of Lady Justice, to whom the last exhibition room is devoted. While we will work primarily with art works that are featured in the exhibition, the virtual tour and auditorium format allows us to make short excursions to Italian examples, or to those art works that simply could not be moved to the museum, either because they are an inherent part of a building, or because their seize simply does not fit the museum’s exhibition space.

Key topics that will be discussed are the close link between legal history and religion; the legitimation of judicial power through art; and the function and consequences of iconic legal imagery.


  1. Martyn, Divine Judgement, Worldly Justice, in: Huygebaert, S., Martyn, G., Paumen, V., Van Poucke, T., The Art of Law: Three Centuries of Justice Depicted[exhibition catalogue], Tielt: Lannoo, 2016.
  1. Kemp, From Christ to Coke: How Images become IconsOxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. (Introduction)
  1. Moore, A., & Lloyd, D. (1988). V for Vendetta: Vertigo. (specifically chapter five, pages 37-45, the first 37 pages are optional)


Stefan Huygebaert is an Art Historian (Ghent University, 2011). Since October 2012, he is preparing a PhD thesis at Ghent University, Department of History/Institute for Legal History, titled Visual idea(l)s of Law & Justice. This PhD research questions both the national character as well as the continuity and change of the visual language of law & justice in the Southern low countries and Belgium during the long nineteenth century. Since October 2015, he is a Flanders Research Fund (FWO) PhD fellow. In 2014-2015, Stefan was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, within the Minerva Research Group The Nomos of Images. Manifestation and Iconology of Law. He has published on legal and constitutional iconography and iconology, artistic revivalism and nineteenth-century art. Recently, he co-edited the exhibition catalogue The Art of Law: Three Centuries of Justice Depicted (Groeningemuseum (Bruges, Belgium) 28-10-16 – 05-02-17).


15-16 November 2016:Emanuele Conte on “Law and Buildings in Historical Perspective”

emanuele_conte_small480Dear all,

this week prof. Emanuele Conte will introduce us to the world of the relationship between law and buildings in the course of history, in order to answer to the following question: “Do things have rights?” The answer will be provided at hand of  a careful use of historical sources, archeology, and law. You will find the readings on the RomaTre e-learning platform.


Suggested readings:

F. Scoppola, I talenti nel momento della prova. Di fronte al terremoto che ha sconvolto l’Italia centrale, in “L’Osservatore romano”, 27 August 2016.

M. R. Marella, The Commons as a Legal Concept, in “Law and Critique” (2016). 

Y. Thomas, L’extrême et l’ordinaire. Remarques sur le cas médiéval de la communauté disparue , “Penser par cas”, J. Revel et J.-C. Passeron éd., Paris, EHESS, 2005, pp. 45-73.

I. Wood, Entrusting Western Europe to the Church, 400-750, in “Transactions of the Royal Historical Society”, 23 (2013),  pp. 37-73. 





s200_tyler-langeDear all,

we are very excited to announce this week’s guest speaker: prof. Tyler Lange, from the the University of California, Berkeley, will give three lectures on “Law and History” for he first time in the framework of the “Law and the Humanities” course.

You can read below a detailed description of the lectures and a lot of suggested readings. Many of them are available online, some others on the RomaTre e-learning platform. You can find further information and many links on the attached PDF file: list-of-readings-law-and-history

Nov. 8: The Uses of Medieval Legal History

This session will raise the question of why jurisprudence tends to disappear from the latter portion of intellectual histories of the early modern period. It will focus on the different aims and perspectives of history and jurisprudence. It will first discuss sites – and aims – of legal history in US academic life, a topic to be picked up on the following day. It will then reflect on the teleology implicit in the traditional philosophical destination of intellectual history courses and the alternate teleology implicit in much European legal history. It will finally explore the significance of the tension between different accounts of the European (and global) legal past, particularly with respect to the contested categories of religion, law, and modernity.

Required readings:

–Douglas Osler, “Fantasy Men,” Rechtsgeschichte 10 (2007)

–Sjoerd Griffioen, “Modernity and the Problem of Its Christian Past: The Geistesgeschichten of Blumenberg, Berger, and Gauchet,” History and Theory 55 (2016)

Optional readings:

–Glen Newey, “The Spirit of Charlemagne,” London Review of Books Blog, 5 Sept. 2016

–Helmut Coing, “English Equity and the Denunciatio Evangelica of the Canon Law,” Law Quarterly Review, 1955

Nov. 9: Religious and Scientific Truth in Legal History: Two American Historians

The second session takes up the issues raised in the previous session by discussing two very different American historians working with legal sources. Each historian operates on the basis of concepts of “revelation” and “original sin,” one more classically religious and one scientific. With respect to Richard Helmholz, the main issue will be to discuss why his latest book might be controversial in the US. His relation of legal doctrine especially to UK and to US legal practice raises the problematic possibility of the influence of “foreign laws” in common-law jurisdictions that undermines autochthonist legal histories – and may threaten some recently established rights. Dan Smail’s use of legal sources is different. Examining how litigants “consumed” justice, most recently with respect to notarial records of the seizure of assets forfeited by debtors, Smail offers us an unidealistic vision of the law grounded in inescapable human – and primate! – nature. Does anyone listen to historians of law? Is what legal historians write of any significance? How do the histories Helmholz and Smail choose to write reflect their professional locations? How do we evaluate them?

Required readings:

–R. H. Helmholz, Natural Law in Court: A History of Legal Theory in Practice, excerpt

–Daniel Lord Smail, “Psychotropy and the Patterns of Power in Human History,” (2012)

–idem, Legal Plunder (2015), excerpt

Optional readings:

–Charles Donahue, “Roman Canon Law in the Medieval English Church: Stubbs vs. Maitland Examined after 75 Years,” Michigan Law Review (1974)

–J. H. Baker, “The Origins of the ‘Doctrine’ of Consideration”

Nov. 10: Pax and pacta: Rights and Obligations from Canon Law to International Law

The final session will examine visions of global order over the long durée through a linguistic and conceptual investigation of individual freedom (both subjective contractual liberty and objective limitations on that) from Late Antiquity to the present that engages with the present-day vogue for human-rights histories. The aim is to connect with my recent research and that of other historians who have followed the concept of binding promises as it migrated from canon law to moral theology to the law of nations and beyond. If it’s clear that obligations have in some sense historically defined communities, the present significance of this is to be debated by jurists as by historians. For researchers, this may be an “einheitliches Forschungsgebiet,” but it may be one that does not lie entirely within one discipline.

Required readings:

–Peter Landau, “Pacta sun servanda. Zu den kanonistischen Grundlagen der Privatautonomie”

–Samuel Moyn, “The End of Human Rights in History,” Past & Present (2016) [or excerpt from idem, Christian Human Rights]

Optional readings:

–[Tyler Lange, Excommunication for Debt, excerpt]

–Wim Decock, “Jesuit Freedom of Contract,” TvR (2009)

–Annabel Brett, “Human Rights and the Thomist Tradition”

Presentation of a New Book on “The Merchant of Venice” (Rome, 11 November 2016)

Dear all,

William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” is, as you know, probably the most studied work in the famework of the “Law in Literature” field of research. Earlier this year, a new book has been published on the real protagonist of this famous play: not Antonio (the Christian merchant) but Shylock (the Jewish moneylender). The book will be presented on Friday 11 November, 5:30 PM, at the Sala delle Conferenze – FONDAZIONE MARCO BESSO (Rome, Largo Torre Argentina 11, first floor). If you are interested, you have to book writing an email to this address:

Vittorio Pavocello (ed.), Shylock e il suo mercante, Roma: Aracne, 2016


List of contributors: Daniela Carpi, Laura Chiuselli, Anna Foa, Stefano Levi della Torre, Silvia Maiocchi, Donatella Maria Giovanna Orecchia, Giorgio Pacifici, Ugo Pacifici Noja, Ivelise Perniola, Elio Ugenti

You can read the index clicking HERE


New question: Law and Social Sciences

Hi everybody!

As next week we won’t have classes, you are ALL invited to answer the following question:

“What is a social fact and what is a juridical form? Describe the difference by making reference to the concept of institution.”

Your participation to this discussion will be taken into account in your final evaluation. If you don’t have posted any comment until now, it is time to start!

25-26-27 October 2016: Paolo Napoli on “Law and Social Sciences”

napoli_small480Dear all,
this week Prof. Paolo Napoli (EHESS, CENJ Paris) will give three lectures on the relationship between law and social sciences at hand of the works of some of the most important philosophers and legal theorists of the 20th century. There is no compulsory reading but you are invited to read at least some parts of the famous works listed below.


For a long period of time, law has been kind of a “problem” for social sciences. For reasons that would deserve to be further explored, things have changed and it is now clear that the expression “law and social sciences” refers to an increasingly popular and accepted interlock rather than to a discrepancy. However, we must not imagine that we entered the era of methodological syncretism as law’s demand for autonomy remains an essential condition for a transdisciplinary (and, above all, not interdisciplinary) encounter. Using the works of authors such as M. Foucault, E. Durkheim and H. Kelsen, we will try to identify the historical emergence of the social sciences and the tendency of the law to distinguish itself  from sociology, anthropology, psychology, etc. Finally, analyzing the concept of “institution”, we will have the opportunity to test how law and social sciences differently problematize this topic, which can be considered pivotal in the history of Western societies

Suggested readings:

– M. Foucault, Les mots et les choses (1966), chapitre X : « Les sciences humaines »

– E. Durkheim, Les règles de la méthode sociologique, 1895

– H. Kelsen, Der Begriff des Staates und die Sozialpsychologie mit Mit besonderer  Berücksichtigung von Freuds Theorie der Masse, 1921

Click HERE to read Paolo Napoli’s CV


“The best way to prepare for the law is to be a well-read person”[Mr. Justice Felix Frankfurter]

Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter Reading OutsideWhat if you were a 12-year-old boy living in the USA who would be interested in “going into the law as a career” and you decided to ask a famous judge for advice? This is what M. Paul Classen Jr. from Alexandria, Virginia, did in 1954.  And this is the reply he received from Mr. Justice Felix Frankfurter:


My Dear Paul:

No one can be a truly competent lawyer unless he is a cultivated man.  If I were you I would forget about any technical preparation for the law.  The best way to prepare for the law is to be a well-read person.  Thus alone can one acquire the capacity to use the English language on paper and in speech and with the habits of clear thinking which only a truly liberal education can give.  No less important for a lawyer is the cultivation of the imaginative faculties by reading poetry, seeing great paintings, in the original or in easily available reproductions, and listening to great music.  Stock your mind with the deposit of much good reading, and widen and deepen your feelings by experiencing vicariously as much as possible the wonderful mysteries of the universe, and forget about your future career.

With good wishes,

Sincerely yours,

[signed]  Felix Frankfurter

From THE LAW AS LITERATURE, ed. by Ephraim London, Simon and Schuster, 1960.

What do you think about that?

20-21 October 2016: David Skeel on “The Tradition of Law and Literature”

Dear students,

as you know, this week’s classes will take place (exceptionally) on Thursday and Friday. Prof. David Skeel will introduce us to the history of law and literature scholarship in the United States, and consider the prospects of this movement for the future. He will focus in particular on three recent strands of law and literature scholarship, which are often referred to as 1) law as language (associated with James Boyd White); 2) literature as empathy (associated with Robin West and Martha Nussbaum) and 3) law and narrative (associated with Patricia Williams).

Suggested Readings:
D.A. Skeel, Lawrence Joseph and Law and Literature, in “University of Cincinnati Law Review”, 77.3 (2009), pp. 921-939.


Prof. David Skeel’s CV:
David A. Skeel is currently the S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School (2004-), after having been Associate Professor of Law at the Temple University School of Law (1993- 1998) and Professor of Law at University of Pennsylvania Law School (1999- 2003) .
He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina (B.A. 1983) and the University of Virginia (J.D. 1987). His poems have appeared in Boulevard, Kansas Quarterly and elsewhere. He has written on law and literature or related issues for Columbia Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Legal Affairs, Wallace Stevens Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, and other publications; and he served as an advisory editor of Boulevard in the 1990s.
He also is the author of two books:
– Icarus in the Boardroom: The Fundamental Flaws in Corporate America and Where They Came From (Oxford U. Press, 2005)
– Debt’s Dominion: A History of Bankruptcy Law in America (Princeton University Press, 2001) .
In 1999 & 2002 he received the Harvey Levin Award for Excellence in Teaching and in 2004 the Lindback Award (university-wide “Great Teacher” award).

For a complete overview on Prof. Skeel’s CV and his extensive list of publications see: